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Shadow IT and the Genius Bar Making IT a Strategic Enabler to Education

Shadow IT and the Genius Bar Making IT a Strategic Enabler to Education

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Background

In many higher education institutions, IT has traditionally been organized into two distinct domains of service support and delivery – “Administrative IT” versus “Academic Computing.” These established IT support organizations often collaborate and sometimes compete to maintain influence over technology decisions within their respective domains of responsibility. The consumerization of technology has changed this established order of support and funding forever. Academic institutions are on the leading edge of this rapidly expanding evolution. The proliferation of flash drives, app stores, tablets, and smart phones – not to mention BYOD – has loosened IT’s traditional control over what, when, and how data is consumed. Shadow IT – defined as the use of devices, software, and services outside the ownership or control of established IT support – is growing rapidly for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the failure of conventional IT to match the level of user experience that students and faculty enjoy outside of the institution.